Algeria jails 2 Bouteflika-era premiers ahead of polls

A man reads a newspaper headlining on the trial of two former Algerian prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal in Algiers

The electoral campaign was marked by empty halls and angry protests at the candidates and the front runners, Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Ali Benflis, have both previously served as Prime Ministers.

Ouyahia was sentenced to 15 years in prison and $16,000 in fines.

Many Algerians, especially the military, worry that there could be a repeat of the chaos and violence of the 1990s, following an aborted presidential election won by Islamist Abbassi Madani.

Former Industry Ministers Youcef Yousfi and Mahdjoub Bedda were also sentenced to 10 years in prison each, while former Transportation Minister Abdelghani Zaalane was acquitted of corruption charges.

An Algerian court jailed two former prime ministers for corruption on Tuesday, two days before a presidential election that protesters want cancelled.

The two men denied all charges, including "misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power and granting undue privileges". One former industry minister, Abdeslam Bouchouareb, who is on the run overseas, was sentenced in absentia to 20 years. And three businessmen who own vehicle assembly plants - Ahmed Mazouz, Hassen Arbaoui and Mohamed Bairi - were sentenced to seven years, six years and three years respectively.

Navy: Flight training suspended for Saudi students
Doss said the stand-down is an effort to ensure the safety of the students, as they recover from the trauma of the shooting. The permission is usually good for at least 90 days, and must be routinely reviewed in order to be renewed.

The court also issued a 20-year prison sentence in absentia to former industry minister Abdesslam Bouchouareb, who is overseas. Defence lawyers boycotted the trial, alleging the proceedings were "politicised" and impacted by a climate of "settling scores". Protesters want a whole new political system instead.

Dr. Paul Sullivan, a professor at the U.S. National Defense University, tells VOA that he thinks the sentences are meant to "give (Algerians) the impression of the rule of law.so that their votes may be less radical".

The military high command, which has long wielded power from behind the scenes, was forced to take a front-line role in government - but rejected the demands of protesters and civil society for sweeping reforms.

While no opinion polls have been published ahead of Thursday's vote, observers expect high levels of abstention, in keeping with previous elections in a political system seen by voters as rigid and unaccountable.

The army has said the vote will be fair and an election is the only way to get out of the crisis. Bouteflika had been expected to run for a fifth term that same month, before elections were postponed due to widespread popular protests.

They claim casting ballots only serves to perpetuate the opaque and corrupt "regime" that has survived the death of the former head of state.

Related News:

  • William Shatner Files for Divorce From Wife of 18 Years

    William Shatner Files for Divorce From Wife of 18 Years

    William Shatner , 88, and his wife of 18 years, Elizabeth Shatner , 59, are calling it quits. He and Rand welcomed three children: daughters Leslie , 61, Lisbeth, 58, and Melanie , 55.
    New 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Trailer is Here, Set to Open in Theaters 2020

    New 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Trailer is Here, Set to Open in Theaters 2020

    Aside from the actor, one main observation that most fans have seen is that it has a lot of Stranger Things vibes on its sleeves. Paul Rudd's character introduces the story of Ghostbusters to the kids who later on come face to face with the ghosts.
    Watch Sony's final State of Play of 2019 right here

    Watch Sony's final State of Play of 2019 right here

    After releasing in early access back in April of 2019, the game's full release has been slated for the 14th of February 2020. Lastly, Kingdom Hearts III will be getting a DLC expansion dubbed Re:Mind with new characters on January 23, 2020.
  • Saudi Aramco shares gain 10% in pre-market auction

    Saudi Aramco shares gain 10% in pre-market auction

    After worldwide investors balked at Aramco's valuation expectations, the kingdom instead focused on raising money domestically. Saudi Arabia relied on mainly domestic and regional investors to buy Aramco shares after lukewarm interest from overseas .

    Company Surprises Employees With $10 Million Holiday Bonus

    Employees at a U.S. real estate company were surprised with a collective US$10 million bonus. But others will receive US$250,000, as the bonuses are based on years of service.
    Man who ate $120,000 banana at art show says 'I'm not sorry'

    Man who ate $120,000 banana at art show says 'I'm not sorry'

    Comedian consists of a single banana duct-taped to the wall of an art gallery as part of Art Basel's Miami chapter. "Love the crew @cbsthismorning they have many talents. including art connoisseurs. plz note the banana above Mr.
  • Public funding for the BBC should be questioned - UK PM Johnson

    Public funding for the BBC should be questioned - UK PM Johnson

    The other option being looked at is to make the viewers' contribution voluntary by decriminalising non-payment. A change could come in from 2027 when the BBC's current Royal Charter expires.
    Miss South Africa defies beauty standards to win Miss Universe 2019

    Miss South Africa defies beauty standards to win Miss Universe 2019

    In a previous interview with ABS-CBN News, Ganados said she was surprised to hear that she won the national costume award. The teleprompter and the images projected on stage showed the Filipina beauty queen in her silver eagle-inspired gown.
    Exxon Mobil scores win in New York climate change lawsuit

    Exxon Mobil scores win in New York climate change lawsuit

    Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson testified that the company used different carbon accounting methods appropriately. NY claimed Exxon used two sets of numbers - one public, one secret - to account for greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Richest Countries Need To Behave Like Adults In Climate Fight: John Kerry

    Richest Countries Need To Behave Like Adults In Climate Fight: John Kerry

    Elan Strait of the World Wildlife Fund told AFP that the world was "desperate to hear real American leadership on climate change". He said the absence of any representative from the White House at the talks "speaks for itself".
    Greenland ice loss will 'expose 400m people to flooding each year'

    Greenland ice loss will 'expose 400m people to flooding each year'

    Satellites revealed new ponds of surface meltwater and bridges collapsed after the intense runoff swelled proglacial rivers. By studying how much of this ice is being lost scientists can begin to understand the effects and impact of climate change.
    Paul Volcker, Ex-Federal Reserve President, Dies at 92

    Paul Volcker, Ex-Federal Reserve President, Dies at 92

    As with the man who succeeded him, Alan Greenspan, Volcker could soothe or excite financial markets with just a vague murmur. Volcker '49, who led the effort to suppress inflation throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, has died at the age of 92.


Most liked

Australia fear series loss to 'little brother' Black Caps, says former star
Williamson has also received numerous applauds regarding his captaincy and for his team, playing in the spirit of the game. Australia coach Justin Langer said there is no doubt players would be affected by the tragedy.

Earthquake Hits New Zealand In Wake Of Volcano Eruption
He said if Dallow had known there was a danger, he wouldn't have gone on to the island. "This is the worst". He confirmed that 47 people were on or near the island Monday when the volcano erupted at 2:11 p.m.

People rescued with ladders as Islamists hit Somali hotel
Then in August of the same year, a suicide vehicle bomb attack on the hotel killed 15 people and caused extensive damage. The group often strikes the most prominent hotels and restaurants, and has also staged attacks in neighboring Kenya.

Here's What Will Happen to Current Series
Marvel Television will no longer produce new shows aside from ones that are now in development. And like what the great Stan Lee used to say, stay tuned true believers.

As bushfire smoke blankets NSW, Sydneysiders rally to urge climate action
Six people have died and over 650 homes have been lost as fires ravaged the east coast of Australia; Benjamin Hall reports. Ambulances have been answering dozens of respiratory-related calls a day, said the head of NSW Ambulance, Brent Armitage.

White Island volcano: New volcanic activity hampers recovery efforts
At least 47 visitors from around the world were on the volcano crater at the time of two explosions in quick succession. The other three victims include White Island tour guide New Zealander Hayden Marshall-Inman and a Malaysian national.

Federal Bureau of Investigation informant Christopher Steele was friends with Ivanka Trump
On Monday , Barr concluded that the investigation was "intrusive" and was initiated based "on the thinnest of suspicions". President Donald Trump criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday, one day after the U.S.

New Google Chrome security upgrades and password protections are here
The latest version of Google Chrome adds new password and real-time phishing protections , tab freezing , and other new features. In October, Google integrated this Password Checkup into the Google Account , making it accessible from passwords. google .com.

Baby Yoda Takes on John Wick in Awesome Fan-Made Poster
The problem with Baby Yoda is that Disney did not seem to anticipate the level of popularity that it would receive. The adorable little being from the Disney Plus show " The Mandalorian " has already taken over our memes .

Le'Veon Bell: I bowled a 251 with the flu
While Bell was bowling, the Jets were making their final preparations for the game at the team hotel. Asked if he has been afforded the opportunity to thrive, Bell said, "Honestly, no".

Is there progress in Ukraine-Russia peace talks?
Macron has sought to reset relations with Putin after years of sanctions, but that warming has caused concern among the eastern European states of the EU.

Rapper Juice WRLD Flew on Jet With Drugs, Guns Before Death
Police said they found drugs and guns on the private plane the rapper had been in before he died on 8 December. Police said there were no signs of foul play and those aboard the aircraft were co-operating with authorities.

A Tiananmen Solution in Hong Kong? | by Minxin Pei
In a Twitter post Trump said he "can't imagine why" anyone would blame the United States for "the problems" in Hong Kong. Why are there protests in Hong Kong?

Players are very emotional about this Test series - Azhar Ali
In the past we have stood firm with Sri Lanka in all our cricket commitments and I am happy they have reciprocated our support. Eight people were killed in the ambush and several Sri Lanka players and officials were injured.

Jennifer Lopez praises an amazing fan after flight request
Hustlers was a labor of love, sweat and perseverance written, directed, produced, edited and starred by a group of evil women. Please let me make an announcement!' Jennifer Lopez is on a roll! "Oh my god, it's been 20 years since Selena ".